The abdomen is the area of the body that houses organs such as the liver, gallbladder, spleen, stomach, and small and large intestine and is protected by the abdominal wall that contains the peritoneum, abdominal muscles, subcutaneous cellular tissue and skin.
Differences between hernia and abdominal tear
The abdomen is a region vulnerable to various pathologies, especially when the person exercises or carries out work carrying heavy objects, the impact of which can cause injuries to the abdominal wall. For this reason, in this article we will develop two frequent and painful injuries that we must know in order to differentiate them, such as hernia and abdominal tear.
By definition, hernias are defects or holes that allow the contents of the abdomen, mainly the intestine and peritoneum, to escape through natural or anatomical orifices. For example: the navel, the inguinal ring and the space between the anterior rectus muscles, while the abdominal tear or muscle rupture is the injury or rupture in the interior of any muscle of the abdominal wall that occurs after an exercise or sudden movement.
Classification of hernias
According to their location they are classified into:
1. Epigastric or supraumbilical hernia: The bulge or mass is palpated above the navel, between the two abdominal rectus muscles.
2. Umbilical hernia: When the contents of the hernia exit through the umbilical scar.
3. Inguinal hernia: When the mass is palpable over the inguinal fold.
4. Femoral or crural hernia: When the swelling is palpable at the root of the thigh (affects the femoral foramen).
Classification of abdominal tear
They are classified according to their severity in:
1. Grade I: mild pain in the affected area and abdominal movements are not limited.
2. Grade II: the pain is of moderate intensity, exacerbated when touched and limits mobilization of the abdomen.
3. Grade III: severe pain, limiting, accompanied by a hematoma and prevents physical activity for several days.
Hernias occur when an individual performs maneuvers that increase pressure inside the abdomen (repeatedly pushing, coughing, or lifting heavy weights) and the contents of the abdomen move and enter the orifices or holes in the abdomen, resulting in a external mass, palpable and painful.
For its part, abdominal tear occurs when the person performs an exercise or movement abruptly, generally without prior heating of the muscle, which rapidly generates an increase in pressure in the muscle fibers and their blood vessels, breaking them with subsequent appearance of severe stabbing pain in the area of injury.
It is important to know that both injuries are painful. In the case of hernia, the stabbing pain is localized in the area where the protrusion is located and may be accompanied by other symptoms such as nausea, vomiting and a feeling of weight.
Complicated hernia can show discoloration when there is insufficient blood supply to the tissues; while the abdominal tear is characterized by a stabbing pain located in the area of the muscle rupture, associated with muscle cramps and bruises in the affected area. The pain can appear in any part of the abdomen where there are muscles.
Time of evolution
Once a hernia is established, its evolution is progressive over time, growing in size and generating more and more pain. Some people can tolerate pain by avoiding exalting maneuvers, such as carrying heavy boxes or tools, but in most cases, the pain increases.
On the contrary, abdominal rupture occurs suddenly and pain appears instantly, worsening with abdominal movements and improving with time and rest.
The main complication of a hernia is that its contents get stuck in the hole and the portion of the intestine contained there is compressed, compromising its blood flow, becoming a medical emergency that warrants operation; While the main complication of a tear is the hematoma or localized blood, which accumulates due to the rupture of the muscle fibers, in addition to the intense pain that prevents the movements of the trunk and abdomen.
The main recommendation that should be taken into account when faced with abdominal pain is that you should go to the doctor and not self-medicate, since the use of analgesics could hide a real emergency.
Hence, it is important to distinguish one lesion from the other, since the treatment of hernias is surgery. If the hernia is detected early, the surgeon can schedule surgery to correct the hernia, but if the hernia becomes complicated, surgery should be performed emergency. On the other hand, if the doctor detects an abdominal tear, he will indicate treatment with anti-inflammatory drugs, rest, physical rehabilitation and local ice therapy.
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